Graduate Theological Union

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GTU Alumna at the helm of new Keshet Bay Area office

Sasha Goldberg (M.A. Judaism '09) heads the new Bay Area office of Keshet, a Jewish LGBT group. Prior to her new position, she was associate director at Nehirim which runs retreats for LGBT Jews. Goldberg is also a consultant on LGBT issues.

Documentary Captures Alumna's Journey of Faith and Love

Raw FaithRaw Faith, a surprisingly intimate and revealing documentary featuring an original song by Sheryl Crow, follows two years in the private life of Marilyn Sewell, an outspoken and socially progressive Unitarian minister who has re-energized her Portland community. Sewell graduated 1991 with a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union.

Alumnus Named Next President of Holy Cross

Philip BoroughsThe College of the Holy Cross (Worchester, Mass.) has selected Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., as the College’s 32nd president beginning January 2012. He graduated in 1989 with a Ph.D. in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union. His doctoral dissertation was on John Woolman (1720-1772), the itinerant Quaker preacher in Colonial America, who advocated against slavery and whose journal is considered a spiritual classic. Fr. Boroughs also holds a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley.

Commencement 2011

The May 12 Commencement ceremonies marked the beginning of a new journey for 62 graduates who completed their degrees in Fall 2010 or Spring 2011. Thirty-three students graduated with a Master of Arts degree, four received a Master of Arts with a concentration in Biblical Languages, and 25 received the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Alumnus Ferguson New Dean of Bexley Hall

Thomas FergusonThe Rev. Thomas J. Ferguson will become the dean of Bexley Hall, an Episcopal Church-affiliated seminary. Since 2010, he has served as the Episcopal Church's ecumenical and interreligious relations officer working to foster ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and cooperation with other Christian communions and world religions. He is also the part-time chaplain of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Buddhist Studies: New Avenues

by Tori Pinto, M.A. '11

Growing up Buddhist, I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to better understand my own religious heritage, as well as contribute academically to the growing body of research on contemporary Japanese religion. We are moving into an exciting time for Buddhist Studies as more attention is being given to ritual, popular religion, folk and oral tradition, as well as visual and material culture. Ultimately I would like to bring a deeper awareness and understanding of Buddhism to American universities, moving beyond the sweeping generalizations and surface readings that we sometimes encounter with imported religions.

News and New Books

New Video: GTU’s 2010 Alumna of the Year

Jenny Te Paa (Ph.D. ’01) is the first Maori person to earn a doctorate in theology. Her passion and work at the College of St. John the Evangelist in Auckland, New Zealand, is bicultural theological education that honors the knowledge and cultural understandings of indigenous peoples. Watch her video and others at www.gtu.edu/multimedia/video.

Wabash Graduate Programs Teaching Initiative

by Arthur Holder, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs (taken from April 2011 Dean's Newsletter)

How well does the GTU prepare doctoral students to teach? And how can we do a better job? Those were the questions that we asked ten alums from five years ago who recently came back to Berkeley for a consultation sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion as part of their Graduate Programs Teaching Initiative.

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